Stephen F Austin to Samuel M Williams, 10-06-1834

Summary: Slow progress of his case. Enemies in Texas and in Mexico, and the causes of their enmity. Loyalty to Mexico and benefits to the people of Texas repaid by ingratitude. Hope of relief in the rise of Santa Anna

[From the Williams Papers. Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas.]

In the Prison of the Deputation or Carcel de Ciudad

Mexico October 6 1834

S. M. Williams

Dr Sir.

I wish you to close and finish all my business and affairs in conjunction with my brother in law James F. Perry and give him all the aid you can in so doing—deliver to him all notes and accounts due me, my desk trunks papers etc also copies certified of all my land titles and inform him when each tract must be settled so as to comply with the law in every particular— I rely on you and him to save my property from total ruin and I have confidence that every honest man in Texas will aid you both in so doing.

I was removed to this prison on the 19 ult. and an investigation of my case has at last commenced by the district Judge D. Martinez de Castro. I know nothing more than that evidence and circumstances and the say sos of my enemies are collecting by the Minister Lombardo, all ex-parte—he expects, as I am told something more from Texas from agents there, and in the mean time I am languishing here, and when at the end of six months or a year it is thought that sufficient proof is collected, I shall then be called on to disprove what is against me and of course shall have to send to Texas.

In short to sum up a long story in a few words, my friends in that country may look on me as dead for a long time to come and probably for ever— A frank manly, but mild and respectful representation from the people of Texas in my favor would have set me at liberty long since and would do it now—The President Genl Santana is friendly to me. So is the Judge but what can they do against a host of bitter enemies which I made by opposing a territory, and others because I am a foreigner and hundreds because I have been active and successfull in settling, and others from envy and others because they think I am wealthy and others because I am in misfortune, what can the president and judge do against all this host with the Minister Lombardo at their head, and especially when Texas is silent as to me, or worse than silent for I am told that every thing that comes from there is against me— My situation is desolate—almost destitute of friends and money, in a prison amidst foes who are active to destroy me and forgotten at home by those I have faithfully labored to serve— I have been true and faithful to this Govt- and nation—have served them laboriously—have tried to do all the good I could to individuals and to the country—have been a philanthropist, and I am now meeting my reward— I expect to die in this prison— I have no reason to make any other calculation— It is hard and unjust and cruel—when I am dead justice will be done me— I have performed my duty and my conscience is at rest— Even the things that my enemies say were errors, were evidently intended to benefit the public interest and advance the country and not to benefit myself— But so be it— I have been the means of distributing many millions of acres to make the fortunes of others, and I now doubt whether I shall not have to depend on Charity for six feet of ground to sleep in at rest— This is man and mankind—a picture of human life—

I send this by Cap. H. J. Offutt. I recommend him to you as an honest man and a friend give him what information you can about the country, he wishes to settle there— I again repeat, close all my affairs save my property for sisters children and for my brothers little boy This is your duty as a friend, and I know that you will faithfully comply with it If I had eight or ten thousand dolls. I might get my liberty I think—but where or how can I get that sum— I shall draw on Beeres & St John for another thousand as you wrote me 31 July I could do—you and Perry can make the arrangement to meet it— Colonel Butler has refused to give me up one of my notes, the last one and the largest one you can see by his receipt its amount—he says that Whitesides had no authority to draw on me for the whole amount— Whitesides recept is in my desk, call on him to pay the deficit or show authority to draw and settle that business. Butler gave me up one note and Whitesides gave me up one—there were three in all, and Butler still has one which he holds me accountable for altho I have paid it to Whitesides Try and settle all my affairs— I wish to be square with the world and with mankind tho that is difficult for they owe me much more than I do them— When I am dead they will pay— they never pay the living

Remember me to Sarah Mr. Scott, and to all others— My enemies are quite welcome to all the tryumph and all the pleasure which they can derive from my unfortunate and persecuted situation, one that I have brought on myself by my honest efforts to serve them as well as every body else— The day will come if honesty has not abandoned the earth when they will meet with their reward from public opinion— As for me I shall die, as I expect to do in prison and under persecution, but with a clear and quiet conscience— Remember me to Ramon Musquis I shall always respect him and also Victor Blanco— nothing in my favor need be sent to Lombardo the present minister

My only hope now is the expected change of politics, govt. or system, or something, that all look for in Jany- next— If that change gives Santanna absolute power or extra facultades I shall be set at liberty— I think also that Alaman will then come into office and if so I shall be set at liberty— he is my friend and he is an honest man as well as an able one— you are all prosperous and safe in Texas because you are far removed from the convulsions of this distracted country—you are all far beyond the reach of harm—may you be so for ever and rise in prosperity and happiness.

S. F. Austin.

P. D. remember me to H. Austin and show him this, request him to write to H. Meigs and to thank him for his kindness in my favor it however has availed me nothing as yet but I hope may when the expected change takes place in Jany- you must not write to this place all is perverted against me—everything.